I was on my second red cup of Chardonnay (the epitome of being classy and trashy at the same damn time) Saturday night when I started on my feminist rant.
What? You mean you don’t expect feminist rants at house parties?
It didn’t begin as a rant so much as a series of compliments sent to several of the women around me. One woman’s outfit was giving me a very Love Jones vibe and I needed her to know I appreciated that. Another woman’s hair was laid by the gods and goddesses. And, one woman just had really great boobs.
One must always acknowledge really great boobs. Always.
While my mild state of inebriation probably made me more apt to dish out the compliments, they still came from a sincere place. The ranting didn’t start until I kept saying “We as women don’t do this enough”, but I blame that on the unknown concoction I imbibed after the Chardonnay.
Last week, I read Alida Nugent’s “Hail The Sisterhood: Little Ways To Be Nicer To Your Fellow Girlkind” and it stuck with me. Her list included things such as “Respect the importance of the female bathroom line” and was meant to encourage women to try just a little harder to be kind to one another.
It seems like a simple concept. Women supporting other women. Women looking out for other women. Women complimenting other women. Unfortunately, I’ve seen people make this simple concept so much more difficult than it has to be. And, I know that because I used to be one of those people making it really difficult.
You want another anecdote? Last year, I went to a Grits and Biscuits party (if you don’t know, don’t ask.) My friends and I pre-gamed at some random hotel, compliments of a woman whose name I never gathered. She was a friend of a friend. In retrospect, she was a sweetheart. She also was wearing a pair of white volleyball shorts (a more appropriate way of saying booty shorts) and I did nothing but hurl my side eye at her and spit snide remarks about her attire in the January blistering cold.
It was a really ugly and nasty way to talk about another woman, especially a woman who had been nothing but nice and let a bunch of us cram into her hotel room to pre game. I remember that moment and I always want to kick myself when I think about it.
The more I write about feminism and the more I work to embody the things I believe in, the more I fight to support other women. Support comes in varied forms. Compliments. Reading women’s blogs. Buying women’s books. Going to women’s events. Taking a second to text someone and see if they are OK. Mending fences with someone after a prolonged and unnecessary hiatus. Letting someone know you loved something they said or wrote. Saying hello to all of the women when you enter a room, not just your gaggle of girlfriends. The list could go on and on. But, I am very conscious and proactive about giving props to other women. Because, as I often times say, we are all fighting the same damn fight. And, that fight is relentless, a barrage of societal bullets hurled at us from every direction. I don’t think it helps us one bit to toss more bullets at each other.
It always baffles me when women say “I don’t really get along with other women” or “I can’t stand females”. (My issue with the term “female” as an insult is an entirely different blog post that I will reserve for a different day). Anyway, by all means, have your male friends. I love my guy friends and I always appreciate how frankly I can speak with them. But, I don’t discount my girlfriends and the incredible value they bring to my well-being. They keep me sane. They make me feel a lot less crazy than I often times feel. They simply get it.
Saying you “don’t really get along with other women” is really just an insult to yourself. Look down. You see that? It’s a vagina. You have one just like the very women you so proudly proclaim you don’t get along with. So, to say you don’t get along with other women is pathetic and inaccurate. Maybe you’ve had some women in your life who did not mesh with your spirit or where you were headed, but that doesn’t mean all women are like that. It’s the same as saying “I hate all men” because you had one douche of a boyfriend. You’re looking at the world through a limited and broken lens.
It doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it. To paraphrase another thing I’ve written, lifting someone else up, especially another woman, will never diminish you. Throwing side eyes and shade takes so much more energy than just choosing to be kind and accepting. It doesn’t matter how many side eyes you throw. It doesn’t matter how many snide remarks you make. Because that woman’s ass will always defy gravity. Her talent will always amaze audiences. She will always garner the attention and respect of certain people. She doesn’t even realize you’re attempting to dull her shine; she’s too busy glowing. Your hate does not and will not subtract from her light. So, don’t waste the time. Don’t waste the energy. Just support her. Because there is nothing but goodness to be gained from you looking out for another woman.